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Beth Gonzales

GED Scores: Understanding the Scoring Rubric

GED Scores: Understanding the Scoring Rubric

GED test scores are important to your educational future. Understanding your GED scores are just as important! Read our post to deepen your understanding of the scoring rubric used by current GED exams.

GED score history

Back in 2014, the entire GED test (scores included) got a few updates. GED Testing Service gave the current GED test to a national sample of high school graduates. As a result of their performance, the three GED scoring levels we use today were established.

Understanding the GED test

First of all, to truly understand the GED scoring rubric, it is especially helpful to know what is on the GED test. The entire GED consists of four different subjects; reading, math, science and social studies. Various types of questions gauge your ability to demonstrate skills necessary for college or employment.
Each content area test measures the same abilities; analyzing information, critical thinking and problem solving. Subject tests are formulated to ensure that scores accurately reflect the academic skills of the test-taker.

Understanding how the test is scored

Another important aspect of understanding scoring is to realize that GED exam scoring is completely automated! A computer even grades the written response items in RLA and Science. GED Testing Service uses an Automated Scoring Engine (ASE) to replicate the human scoring process.
While it may seem that a computer might not be the best choice to grade written responses, the ASE has accurately scores test items and provides efficient feedback to test-takers for years.

Understanding the scoring rubric

GED test scores are divided into three categories. Each level provides a range of academic mastery and indicates how prepared you may be for the rigors of college-level courses or future employment.
GED test points range from 100 to 200 for each subject. You must score at least 145 on each individual subject and an overall total of 580 or higher in order to pass the GED. Test scores are divided into three levels. Each level indicates a different range of student ability and college readiness.

  • GED Passing Score: score of 145-164
    A score at this level means you passed the GED! Your score shows that you attained a high school equivalency credential and have the same educational skill set as a graduating high school senior.


  • GED College Ready: score of 165-174
    Not only have you successfully passed the GED, your score level indicates that you have the skills needed to enroll in your first year of college courses. According to the GED testing service, your scores may relieve you from taking certain placement tests or remedial courses in college.


  • GED College Ready + Credit: 175-200
    This score indicates that you may be eligible to earn college credits, and have demonstrated skills that are taught in college-level courses. Depending on the college or program you enroll in, you may be eligible to receive additional credits in Math, Science, Social Studies and/or Humanities. Get an American Council on Education credit recommendation to determine if you qualify.

Understanding the importance of GED scores

GED Testing Service equates a passing score (145-164) score with earning a high school degree. A score of 145 indicates a student passed the GED, but still might not be academically ready for college-level courses. Genuine college readiness requires exceeding high school exit standards, not just meeting them.
The GED measures more than just academics! GED exams test critical thinking skills, deductive reasoning and concept application. Your score reflects how well you demonstrate these skills during testing. GED scores are more than just a number. They tell the story of who you are as a learner.
Because GED scores tell so much about a student’s capabilities, colleges and employers use them to predict how well students might perform in future classes or assignments. The higher your score, the more educational or employment-based opportunities may be available to you.

Low GED scores

A GED test score of 144 or below on any test subject means you must retake that portion of the test. Although every state has it’s own regulations for retaking GED subject tests, most do not require you to re-test subjects you already passed. Check with your state for current policies on retaking the GED.
If you do need to retake a test, don’t get discouraged! Almost 40% of GED test-takers fail the exam at least once. Although it may seem disheartening, use this as an opportunity to review your educational plan and see where you can improve!

GED scores and continuing your education

According to GED Testing Service, around 60% of all GED graduates earn their diploma so that they can pursue a college education. If you are a student who is continuing their education, congratulations on taking an important step in your academic career!
In addition to your transcripts, college or scholarship applications may require a GPA or class rank in order to apply. Because of the nature of the test, GED scores cannot be directly translated into GPA or class rankings. However, GED Testing Service provides a chart that aligns GED test scores with class rankings of graduating high school seniors.
GED graduates with test scores of 175 or higher may also want to check out American Council on Education (ACE) credits. Refer to the list of institutions to see if your college participates in the ACE program. You may be eligible to receive additional credits just because of your test scores!
Now that you understand the scoring rubric behind your GED test scores, what will you do next? Visit the College & Careers section of your MyGED dashboard. Take a free career assessment or get assistance with college planning!

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About Beth Gonzales

Beth is an educator and freelance creative designer who devises innovative and fun-loving solutions for clients. She works with families, students, teachers and small businesses to create and implement programs, campaigns and experiences that help support and maximize efforts to grow communities who critically think, engage and continue to learn.

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